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December 18, 2016

Tender revealed for next stages of $325m Murray Basin Freight Rail project

The Australian and Victoria governments have released the tender for stages two and three of the A$440m ($325m) Murray Basin Freight Rail project.

The Australian and Victoria governments have released the tender for stages two and three of the A$440m ($325m) Murray Basin Freight Rail project. 

The project is jointly funded by both governments, which each contributed up to A$220m ($162.6m).  

Australia Minister for Infrastructure and Transport Darren Chester said: “This project is economically crucial to better connect primary producers to Victoria’s major ports.

“The Australian Government is committed to supporting farmers, their families and our regional economy through investment in much-needed regional transport infrastructure projects such as the Murray Basin Freight Rail Project.”

As part of stage one, completed earlier this year, the Mildura line was upgraded with installation of sleepers and the replacement of rail.

"This project is economically crucial to better connect primary producers to Victoria’s major ports."

The second stage will see standardisation of the track between Yelta and Maryborough, which will increase axle loading and allow heavier trains carrying more product.

Victoria Minister for Public Transport and Major Projects Jacinta Allan said: “This vital project will allow our primary producers to get more produce to port, more efficiently, boosting jobs and the regional economy.”

The works will also involve modernisation of Maryborough to Ararat line as part of stage two.

This would provide a key freight connection to the Port of Portland from north-west Victoria and interstate.

The governments also released tenders for stage three of the project, which will standardise the gauge and increase axle loading on the Manangatang and Sea Lake lines.

As part of the tender for stage two works, Victoria Government funded works such as completion of sleeper and rail upgrades on the Hopetoun Line and standardisation of the Ouyen to Murrayville line.

The tender for stages two and three will close in early February.

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